Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

What separates great leaders from average leaders? Is it years of experience, a degree from a top-notch university, or an impressive title?

It’s none of these things.

Lead from Within

Lead from Within

The difference between average and great leaders begins long before they assume the mantle of leadership. In fact, you can be a great leader even if you do not have a leadership title or position.

How is that possible? Because great leadership begins from within. It begins with who you are. Who you are when no one else is looking. Your core values and how you act on those values will distinguish you as a leader—every single time.

How do you know if you have what it takes to be a great leader? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What do you value most about yourself?
  • Do you go along with the crowd—even when you know in your heart that you should choose differently?
  • Do you consistently look out for the best interests of others?

Great leaders have these things in common: self-awareness, core values that guide their choices and actions, and giving to others what they have received. Great leaders are also intentional. They look within first and are focused on living with purpose and passion.

So, ask yourself: What one thing can I do today to be more intentional?

May you enjoy the blessings of increasing your awareness each day… and reaching out to help someone else do the same—just a sampling of the many blessings of leadership.

I’d love to hear from you. Tell me about leaders you admire—in your family, in your community, or at work. Use the comment section below or let’s start a conversation on Twitter! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to continue the conversation! Twitter: https://twitter.com/gloriaburgess Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drgloriaburgessPhD. And feel free to learn more about me and Jazz, Inc. by checking out my website: http://gloriaburgess.com/index.html. Have a fantastic week!

Pass It On!


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Leadership is difficult.

Contrary to popular belief, leaders aren’t born. They are made. You grow into leadership through the choices you make.

We stand in awe of leaders who can make tough decisions on a dime, especially when they say, “I just went with my ‘gut feeling’ on the matter.” What these leaders don’t say is that their gut feeling is honed through years of experience, learning through their personal and professional trials and challenges as well as through others’.

That gut instinct is also honed through doing a few critical things every day. Things that over time become automatic, such as their ability to lead effortlessly under pressure. These learned characteristics mold leaders, transforming them from good to great, and they are characteristics that anyone anywhere can incorporate into their daily lives. Leaders Exude Positivity

They Exude Positivity and Energy

In any organization, there will be snags along the road to success. A great leader doesn’t allow those bumps in the road to disrupt positive momentum. The workplace they create is uplifting and inspiring, and they constantly seek new ways to generate positive attitudes among team members. Each morning, they set the tone for the rest of the day. Whether it’s simply saying good morning to everyone and asking if anyone needs any guidance on their work or if it’s organizing the occasional “company offsite” to boost camaraderie on their team, a great leader never lets the opportunity to lift the team spirits slip through their fingers.

They Speak Up

Great leaders are aware that if they wait for the perfect moment to bring up a concern, voice an opinion, or act decisively that moment may never come. They aren’t afraid to make themselves uncomfortable for the greater good. If they have a concern, they’ll surface it in order to rectify a situation before it snowballs into something bigger and, possibly, worse for themselves, their team, and their organization. Typically, they’re the first ones to say out loud what everyone else at the table is already thinking. What’s the difference between them and you? They took the chance to speak up.

They Communicate Their Expectations

Do mind readers exist? Great leaders don’t think so. They recognize the need to properly translate their vision and expectations to their team members so that their expectations will come to fruition. They keep an “open door,” encouraging team members to communicate directly with them and among themselves. After all, everyone needs to be on the same page if they’re all in the same organization working towards the same goals. Great leaders constantly remind their team of the standards they’ve set, making it easy for them to identify high-performers and those who are not.

What are some things YOU’VE seen great leaders do consistently? I’d love to hear from you. Tell me in the comment section below or let’s start a conversation on Twitter! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to continue the conversation! Twitter: https://twitter.com/gloriaburgess Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drgloriaburgessPhD. And feel free to learn more about me and Jazz, Inc. by checking out my website: http://gloriaburgess.com/index.html. Have an uplifting week!

Pass It On!

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A Fortune 500 company, a small business, a start up, a volunteer association. No matter the size, there is something every successful organization has in common: Leadership.

Being a Better Leader

Being a Better Leader

But what separates a good leader from a poor one? Is it enough to have the title? You know as well as I do that the answer will always be, “Of course not!” Although every successful organization begins and ends with leadership, every organization does not necessarily require the same type of leadership. As an evolving leader, you should continually be aware of how your communication, direction, and attitudes impact those around you, and hone your approach to suit their needs.

To assist you as you navigate the path to becoming a better leader, I suggest the following:

Don’t Let Perfect Get in the Way of “Better”

As a leader, you certainly want your daily operations to run continuously without a hitch. But you know there will always be a few speed bumps along the way. How you handle a negative situation affects the way your team members react to you, and it also says a lot about your leadership skills.

So what to do? Always identify the positives of a situation first. Then discuss what could be improved. By focusing on what went well, those around you are more likely to react positively. And when a person’s mind isn’t clouded by things that did not go well, the more easily they can strategize about how to solve a problem. Try this tip: Before bringing up an issue you have with a team member, identify two or three things they did right in the situation. Start the conversation by singing their praises!

Be Authentic

Leaders are attuned to their inner selves. Being conscious of your strengths and weaknesses is an important part of leadership and your authenticity. Self-awareness is a powerful attribute, especially when you’re confident enough to acknowledge what you don’t know and you work diligently to find the answer! After all, we’re only human. Those around you will find comfort knowing that you are not so different from them. Try this tip: At your next group meeting, express how your employees or volunteers can help you achieve a common goal. List some of the qualities they have that you lack, highlighting how they add value to your team.

Identify Your Successors

As difficult as it is to give up control, there is no way for your organization to reach new heights without a cadre of leaders who will succeed you. In fact, identifying these leaders is key to your success! Why not identify them early on? You’ll relieve some of the pressure from yourself while strengthening your employees’ connection to the organization. Be a confident leader and show that you can put your trust in others without having to hover over their every move. Try this tip: On your next big project, delegate significant responsibility to an emerging leader. Let them take the reigns and let them know they have your support. Then find an opportunity to praise their efforts publicly.

What steps have you taken as a leader or seen other leaders take to improve the culture of their organization? Tell me about it in the comment section below. And as always—have a blessed week!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Care to chat more? Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to continue the conversation! Twitter: https://twitter.com/gloriaburgess Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drgloriaburgessPhD. And feel free to learn more about me and Jazz, Inc. by checking out my website: http://gloriaburgess.com/index.html.

Pass it On!

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A few months ago, a friend and fellow poet asked me in so many words if I ever got tired of being so positive…. lifting up others. I said no. Even so, there are times when I yearn for an uplifting embrace from others. Just because. Right now especially.

A couple of weeks ago I underwent surgery; I’m still on the mend. I’ve received many uplifting calls, notes, poems, stories… and welcome yours if wish to share.

Right now, I’m grateful for so many and so much. Here are just a few:

–  Before, during, and now after my surgery, my husband and soul mate has been my friend, lover, confidante, and companion. John and I have enjoyed the glorious blessing of a legacy relationship. This July, we’ll celebrate 35 years of marriage. At the moment, he’s partnering with me to teach my weekly leadership class at our church until I’m well enough to do so.

–  My daughter Quinn, a grad student at Boston U who works full-time while pursuing for her MFA… and sometimes struggles to makes ends meet. As you know, it’s tough out there. Through it all, she embodies what it means to wear your soul on the outside. Shortly after my surgery, she called from Boston; she told me she loved me and that she wanted to send me flowers. But when she did the math the charges for shipping, handling, delivery, and taxes exceeded the cost of the flowers. I told her that she’d already given me flowers; she’d called to express her love.

– A month or so before my surgery, a friend who had been a physician’s assistant reminded me to take good care of myself before, during, and after surgery. Her blessings were many, including four words that have become a kind of poem: rest, heal, recover, discover. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of her and her blessing.

– To strengthen myself—spiritually, emotionally, and so many other ways, I checked out a few CDs and books from my library; to support one of my favorite independent bookshops, I also bought a few books as part of my Super Enriched Soul Food Diet. These past few days, I’ve sipped and dined on lovely music and words, including Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. Like people, books come into our lives for a reason. This little book offered me the gift of reminiscing about one of my old stomping grounds—Detroit, Michigan… and embracing folks whose circumstances may be vastly different than yours, but whose challenges, hopes, and dreams might as well be identical… and witnessing someone struggle with faith until that ember glows strong and vibrant once again.

– There are so many other women and men in my Personal Village who deserve a mention. You’re sure to hear about some of them in upcoming posts. Stay tuned.

For now, thanks for tuning in… and for holding me in your hearts and prayers.

Great blessings of love and joy.

Pass It On!

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In a few days, I’ll be part of a panel of leaders who declare that “You Were Born for Such a Time as This.” We’ll host a community dialogue on this theme.  I’d love to hear from you. Given the staggering problems we face today—the failing economic system, global climate change, overwhelming poverty in one of the richest nations in the world, the need for immigration reform, millions losing their homes and their jobs… how can one person make a difference in the face of such daunting challenges and odds? Tell me what you’re doing to live out loud, to wear your soul on the outside, to make a difference in the world.

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Here’s an article called Obama Taps into Our Yearning for Meaning, Spirituality by Desiree Cooper. Whether you find meaning and spirituality in religion or elsewhere, Cooper captures the heart of what most of us yearn for—involvement and responsibility that delves into the realms of faith and politics in a way that can engage the very best that is within us–individually and collectively.

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